THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson, who is also President of Malawi, Lazarous Chakwera, said the late former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe will be honoured alongside eight other founders of SADC by constructing a modern museum at the regional bloc’s secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana, for their critical role in the attainment of political freedom for the region.
The eight other founders include Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, Mozambique’s Samora Machel, Dr Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola, Sir Ketumile Masire of Botswana and leaders of Eswatini, Lesotho and Malawi.
In his message to commemorate the 2022 SADC Liberation Day which falls on March 23, and published on the SADC website, President Chakwera said plans are already underway to provide due recognition to the founders of SADC.
“Through the commemoration of the Southern Africa Liberation Day, we recognise the great contributions and sacrifices made by the founders of SADC to bring about political freedom, thereby laying a solid foundation for regional integration, cooperation and socio-economic development in the region,” said President Chakwera.
Mr. Chakwera said SADC will construct a modern museum at its secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana to curate the legacy of its founding fathers.
“Concomitant with the commemoration of the Southern Africa Liberation Day, we are implementing the mechanism in honour of the founders of SADC, which contains a number of activities, all aimed at providing due recognition to the founders for their contributions,” he said.
He explained that meeting rooms at the SADC Secretariat have already been named after the founding fathers. President Chakwera said SADC is committed to preserving the history of the Southern African liberation struggle by documenting it.
The founding Member States are: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. SADCC was formed in Lusaka, Zambia on April 1, 1980, following the adoption of the Lusaka Declaration – Southern Africa:
Part of the statement by SADC
STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. LAZARUS MCCARTHY CHAKWERA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI AND CHAIRPERSON OF SADC, ON THE COMMEMORATION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA LIBERATION DAY
Every year, on 23rd March, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) commemorates the Southern Africa Liberation Day to recognise the priceless sacrifice of the generation of men and women who fought gallantly for the liberation of Southern Africa. The Summit meeting of SADC held in Windhoek, Namibia in August 2018, endorsed the day as a way of preserving the history and institutional memory of SADC.
The day is, therefore, special in the calendar of the SADC region as it marks one of the major turning points in the history of Southern Africa’s struggles against the colonial and apartheid regimes. It signifies an end, in 1988, to one of the fiercest conventional battles of the liberation struggle, fought at Cuito Cuanavale in southern Angola, where the armed forces of the apartheid regime of South Africa were defeated by the combined forces of the People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA) and Cuban forces, backed by liberation movements and the Frontline States, leading to the liberation of both Namibia and South Africa.
It is now 34 years since the end of this battle, and 42 years since SADC came into being, and we reflect with pride upon the freedom that we enjoy today which has enabled us to be masters of our own destiny. Drawing inspiration from our Founders, we realise that political freedom alone is not enough, if not accompanied by sustainable socio-economic development that lifts our people from poverty to prosperity.
It is against this backdrop that, in August 2020, SADC adopted a comprehensive Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030 and SADC Vision 2050 to further deepen regional integration and foster economic development….